Children will never forget a visit to the theatre in London and seeing a spectacular show can give them a life-long appreciation of the performing arts. The most enjoyable productions for kids have familiar storylines, plenty of audience participation and slightly shorter running times. The hardest part is deciding which one to see, here are three of the best shows the capital has to offer right now for children of all ages.
The Lion King, Lyceum Theatre
This ingenious adaptation of the iconic Disney film is packed with breathtaking special effects and a sound track that is instantly recognisable. Children will love watching the fearless little Simba survive against the odds to become the king of the Serengeti Plains. Along the way he meets a cast of funny, mean and quirky animal friends, all of which are brought to life on stage by both actors and puppeteers.
Matilda the Musical, Cambridge Theatre
Staged by the Royal Shakespeare Company, this is a bold, exuberant, musical retelling of the Roald Dahl story about a schoolgirl with amazing powers. While standing up for herself against her dull, bullish parents and dealing with the infamous Miss Trunchball at school, Matilda suddenly discovers she can use telekinesis to take revenge! This hugely successful show has enchanted audiences and reviewers alike, with a spectacular set that has the look and feel of a big budget production.
The Gruffalo, Lyric Theatre
Kids have been enjoying this enchanting tale since it was first published in 1999, and it is now considered a modern classic. Julie Donaldson’s words coupled with Axel Scheffler’s illustrations are used to full effect in this production, with the mouse and its monster co-star providing laughs, small scares and thrills throughout. Aimed at theatregoers of three and over, this is probably the best option for toddlers.